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Information on skills employers demand from jobseekers can support citizens in making better career and training choices. In today’s dynamic labour market, understanding employers’ requirements is also crucial for employment services and guidance counsellors to assess individual training needs, and for training providers to adapt curricula and training programmes so that they provide skills the labour market demands. Policy-makers benefit from up-to-date insight on current and emerging skill needs and new jobs being created as it can help them in shaping forward looking employment and skills policies.

Over the last decade, the usage of online platforms for posting job vacancies has significantly increased, and jobs of different types and levels are now widely published online. The Internet has become a rich source of ‘real-time’ labour market information, which can be analysed thanks to advances in big data collection and analysis.

After several years of development, Cedefop has presented first results from its real-time labour market information project in March 2019. This new type of labour market intelligence is based on information gathered from more than 30 million online job vacancies collected in the second half of 2018 in Czechia, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy and the UK. The classification of European skills, competences, qualification and occupations (ESCO) and complex big data analysis techniques were used to extract information on skills from the vacancies. The results are presented in the Skills Online Vacancy Analysis Tool for Europe (Skills OVATE).

Skills OVATE complements Cedefop’s toolkit of already well-established sources of labour market intelligence, such as the European skills forecast, the European skills index, and the European skills and jobs survey. These sources are used by policy makers at EU and Member State level to inform education and training and employment policies – they help countries in keeping their education and training systems in sync with rapid changes in the world of work.

While data contained in the Skills OVATE are already of high quality, more will be done in terms of its cleaning, classification and testing of results to provide sound evidence for decision making on skills and career development. Over the next months, Cedefop will further develop the system and cover more European countries. A fully fledged system with more options for analysis will be released at the end of 2020.

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